Lille 3000 is a unique, quirky, fantastically French cultural artistic event that takes place in the city of Lille, northern France over several months in hundreds of different locations. It’s slightly crazy, possibly a tad deranged and absolutely pulsating with joie de vivre, energy and joy and if you love art, then this should be at the top of your must see-do-go to list!
It’s not quite a triennial, though generally it takes place every three years, it’s not quite a festival; it’s not quite an art exhibition. It is all three and more. 500 events over 3 months involving all 75 districts of Lille launched on Saturday 26 September, 2015 and ending January 17, 2016.
Lille 3000 is one of the most vibrant, colourful, festive art events in the world. It spills out of museums (and they are numerous in Lille), and art galleries, the opera house, public buildings and shops, onto the streets and into the sky in this truly dynamic town.
Each event takes a different theme and for 2015 it is Renaissance – not in the historic sense but in the spirit of renaissance. Five cities from around the world were invited to participate in the extraordinary Lille 3000 affair, cities that have overcome crises and gone through a re-birth, much like Lille itself which has gone from a rather drab city in the 1990s to the most incredibly vibrant city, a sort of mini-Paris with a friendly vibe. From this collaboration with five cities, come some fifty exhibitions in Lille.
Rio: “Brazil is a very unequal country, between rich and very poor, where all is not well, but where there are positive levers” says Mayor of Lille Martine Aubry. Brazil’s cultural capital has been selected for its famous carnival, the largest in the world, involving all districts and city residents, a symbol of regeneration. For the opening Parade of Lille 3000 2015, some 2000 musicians and thousands of dancers in costume will lead the way, as hundreds of locals who’ve been having Brazilian dance lessons join in alongside giant puppets. Vibrant, colourful, noisy, fun, festive are the order of the day with a fireworks display to light up the sky!
Detroit: Following a huge fire at the beginning of the 19th century, Detroit was literally reborn from its ashes. Then, having embodied the American dream with its motor industry, the city experienced the recession and bankruptcy. Despite this, Detroit is experiencing a revival, driven by locals taking over brownfields to start artistic activities and collaborative gardens. This reinvention and sharing will be celebrated in Lille with the planting of an “urban farm” and music from Detroit.
Eindhoven: Like Detroit, Eindhoven (Netherlands) has experienced huge economic disruption when the Philips company moved to Amsterdam in the early 2000s, with a local loss of 400,000 jobs. However, the city is regenerating through innovation and creativity in design.
Seoul: An economic miracle though not without problems that has seen this Korean metropolis transformed in just a few decades to a hub of modernity based on collective effort. The work of 25 artists from Seoul, huge inflatable works and live music will bring the spirit of Seoul to Lille.
Phnom Penh: After the trauma of war, the city has undergone a rebirth with young artists, urban planning and architecture leading the way. A major exhibition will be dedicated to creativity at the museum Hospice Comtesse, including video, performance and photography.
In addition to specific exhibition spaces for each city, each will host a weekend full of festivities in Lille.
This is a really exuberant, cultural, authentic, original and unique event – not just in France or Europe, but in the world, and if you love art, then Lille 3000 should be at the top of your bucket list!
Full programme and details: www.lille3000.eu
For a little flavour of what Lille 3000 is all about – check out this video: